Source: Borrowed from the Pasco County Library System
Purchase Link: Amazon
Why did I choose to read this book?
Honestly, the synopsis of this book hit really close to home for me so I had to read it to see. Books that ask people to consider whether feelings are real or if it’s just the relief of survival are extremely my jam.
Plus it’s been kind of a theme lately but this book was yet another denial on NetGalley so I need to do something to my profile on there to make me more attractive.
What is this book about?
This book is about how fleeting and fragile true happiness is, and how it can be difficult to determine your true feelings when you don’t have control over your own life for whatever reason.
Is it love or a roof over your head?
Is it forgiveness or just swallowing rage to have something to eat?
Is it a loving family, or are they just shitty people you have to put up with so you have a place to go if/when things go badly?
These are difficult questions to consider. If you read this book and walk away thinking the main character should have been more grateful for the people in her life, that she should have settled, that she should have made better choices, then you didn’t get it.
What is notable about the story?
We live in a time when it only takes one emergency, one disaster, one missed paycheck to ruin someone’s life. When Allison decides to get in her car and escape her abusive relationship on west coast she chooses her own happiness. She puts all her money together to buy a small beach house that she loves, but she only gets a week and a half of happiness before her home is destroyed by a hurricane.
The rest of the book is her trying to remember what happened, how she got here, what she really wanted – and she always came back to her little house on the beach and swimming anywhere. The peace and quiet of being alone either in her own space or in the water, and how that compares to the excessive noise of every other scene in the book, is very important. For Allison especially, she’s more free alone than she is with ANYONE ELSE she interacts with in this book. Whether they are taking advantage of her, abusing her, asking too much, ignoring her, no one knows what Allison really wants except Allison, and Dermansky is very good and showing us how difficult it can be to know ourselves when we are being drowned out by the cacophony of everyone else.
Was anything not so great?
This book was perfect to me. The mistakes, the noise, the fear, the feeling of being trapped in different environments, the wish to be free – all of it was just perfect. I know others will have gripes that center around Allison’s decisions, but I would beg you to think about whether or not she really had any choices other than the choice to buy that little beach house. Just because a person decides to do something doesn’t mean that they had a choice.
What’s the verdict?
5 stars on Goodreads. If you’re a woman who has bounced from decision to decision just to survive in this life, this book will be a mirror. I read this book in two hours, so there’s no excuse for you not to. Go get it.
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